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Soldier Kills Ga. Deputy, Then Himself

October 23, 2011  | 

Richmond County (Ga.) Sheriff's deputy James Paugh. Photo: RCSO
Richmond County (Ga.) Sheriff's deputy James Paugh. Photo: RCSO

An intoxicated soldier who was reportedly firing at vehicles with an M4 semiautomatic rifle fatally shot a Richmond County (Ga.) Sheriff's deputy earlier today before killing himself.

Deputy James D. Paugh, 47, was heading home at about 1 a.m. after completing a shift, when he noticed a suspicious vehicle alongside Bobby Jones Expressway at Gordon Highway. He pulled over to check on it and was shot several times.

Evidence indicated Christopher Hodges, 26, fired about 35 rounds. Paugh fired two rounds from his service weapon. Deputy Paugh, a motor officer, was a 17-year veteran who was hired by the agency in 1994.

Source: Augusta Chronicle

Tags: Georgia, Duty Deaths, Off-Duty Incidents, Military-related


Comments (18)

Displaying 1 - 18 of 18

RICHARD ISAACS @ 10/24/2011 7:15 PM

JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG. RIP DEPUTY PAUGH.

Bob@Az. @ 10/24/2011 7:23 PM

Anybody know where the M4 came from? RIP Deputy, we know your blue family will miss you.

Lt. Robert Tester @ 10/24/2011 7:26 PM

The thin blue line will not forget you brother. RIP.

Jeremy in MT @ 10/24/2011 7:28 PM

This suspect was a Soldier in the National Guard, therefore that is where the M4 came from. Rest in peace Deputy Paugh.

larry bell jr @ 10/24/2011 8:21 PM

such a heart breaking situation....did this deputy have any kids....i seriously will pray for him and his family .........with sadness and other things.......my heart and love go out with you all.................LARRY BELL Jr....................

David @ 10/24/2011 9:38 PM

The Mere Fact That He Was in The National Guard DOES NOT Lend Explanation As To HOW He Obtained The M4! The Military Controls Access. Soldiers Don't Take Them Home With Them. Perhaps The Weapon Was Privately Owned. REGARDLESS OF THE "WHAT IF'S", Deputy Paugh Was Senselessly Murdered!!! With The Huge Draw Down Coming From Iraq, Expect More of This Senseless Behavior, Until The Brave Men & Women Whom Have Served Over There Get The Help They Need To Deal With What They've Seen & What They've Done!

David @ 10/24/2011 9:38 PM

RIP DEPUTY PAUGH!

Morning Eagle @ 10/25/2011 1:01 AM

David is correct. Military owned weapons are strictly controlled and supposed to be accounted for. They are not allowed to be taken home. Anyone that can pass a background check can purchase civilian semi auto versions of the M4 or buy one from an individual. We do not know what caused this soldier to go off like that and murder Deputy Paugh then himself. It is a tragic, senseless loss to their families, communities, and the nation.

AZBIGDOG @ 10/25/2011 5:20 AM

If I am not mistaken the military does not use the semi-automatic M-4. It is a weapon anyone can purchase if not a prohibited user. And regardless of where it came from, maybe it was one of those fast and furious weapons brought to you by our "great" ATFE administrators. RIP Deputy.

Francis @ 10/25/2011 6:05 AM

RIP Deputy Paugh. May God receive your soul.

crispianranger @ 10/25/2011 6:28 AM

What a complete waste of one of the good guys...Wishes and sympathy to his family and friends

Adrian Stroud @ 10/25/2011 8:02 AM

So very sorry for the officer and his family. Even on the way home, you can be attacked. RIP brother.

Carlos cop in CA @ 10/25/2011 9:57 AM

In response to one of the comments made about "fast and furious weapons brought to you" by the ATF. As cops we need to remember that guns don't kill people, people kill people. I certainly don't know all of circumstances surrounding this tragic incident but based on what I read this sounds like Ofc. Paugh was ambushed. This being said, ambushes are very hard, if even possible to prepare for. If we can learn one thing from this senseless act, that would be that "WE" the Brothers and Sisters in blue need to be ever vigilant and should "What If?" as many scenarious as we possibly can. Remeber, "The body can't go where the mind hasn't been", and "Luck favors the prepared!" Rest in Peace Ofc Paugh (Rom. 13)

SGT. britt @ 10/25/2011 1:17 PM

RIP DEPUTY paugh. prayers go out to his family.

George @ 10/25/2011 5:41 PM

When military people, regardless of service or active/reserve/ng status do something stipid like this, it does tarnish my 27 years service. One of the earlier writers (David) is right about soldiers coming back. It infuriates me that our useless government people (I refuse to use the word leader for them) decide to send our youngsters to fight, mental health care should be required, and lack of funding is no excuse. The money can come by cutting their salaries, perks, retirement and health benefits. They haven't earned what they are getting. that is the justification that I use in every election I vote against incumbents. term limits should be in place, and NO ONE should serve until they are 92 years old and have to nod or shake their hear from a bed to make a government decision.

JR @ 10/25/2011 6:36 PM

Hey guys, not that it's the important point of the story, but the report says he was firing a semi-auto M4. Being as the military's are all full auto or 3-round burst, I'm going to assume that the reporter most likely meant an M4-like rifle....most probably he/she has seen M4's in the hands of our soldiers for the last 10 years and saw a familiar shape, therefore called it an M4.

Bottom line is, who cares? Had he been shot by a guy wielding a .38 or a 9mm or even a 10-22 I don't think anyone's first question would have been "Where did he get that _____??!!" It doesn't really matter. One of our brothers has fallen. Yet again. How or why is not important, only that we honor and remember him.

Be safe out there everyone. It's been an ugly year.

SGTMEADE @ 10/26/2011 1:21 AM

The problem with the returning troops coming home from combat tours is that they are suffering from bouts of PTSD and other mental issues due to the non-stop combat they indure and the lack of treatment that they are provided through either the VA or the military. I have been there and done that but I was able to get the help of the VA. As far as the senseless murder of a brother of the badge, it was and is a tragidy and he will be remembered. RIP Deputy Paugh...you will not be forgotten

CK @ 10/26/2011 6:01 AM

IF I'm not mistaken this is the same soldier who then took his own life after shooting Deputy Paugh. Chickens way out...may he ROT someplace special for him !!....RIP Deputy Paugh....you've served well Brother !

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